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Ah Dteeh Beaten and Tortured by the Thai Army
Ah Dteeh, an Akha from Meh Maw Akha, some time after the murder of Mr. Ah Juuh Cheh Muuh from the same village, was taken into custody by the army and taken to the main base at Som Yaek junction, and tortured. He escaped, went into hiding, and told his story.
Meh Maw Akha, Som Yaek Army Base
Ampur Mae Faluang
Army base Som Yaek, Cavalry Squadron 241
Officer in charge at the time:
Captain Dumrong, Col. Apisit
18 Dec. 2001 till 21 Dec. 2001 3am
While tourists are in the night markets buying Akha wares, they are little aware how the government is abusing these same people in their mountain homes, pressuring them to leave.
Ah Dteeh, from Meh Maw Akha village, was apprehended on the hearsay of someone else that he was dealing in guns, though he lives in a border village where the Shan army is allowed to camp on the border, which often deals in guns itself.
Ah Dteeh was taken to Som Yaek Army base Cavalry 241 and tied up in a hut, where he was kicked, beaten and electrocuted. After a number of days he realized that the chances were that he would be killed, and he was able to escape his ropes and slip off the base, crawling for miles to make it to an Akha village and hide. We photographed Ah Dteeh and filed this case with the UN.
Reports were rife from the Akha that the army base was electrocuting prisoners, torturing them in an effort to gain confessions or find out information about other hill tribe people.
The region has been known for years for army and police abuse, yet government investment or aid in the area is hard to find.
The army never had or gained any proof that Mr. Ah Dteeh was engaged in anything illegal. The US government gives millions of dollars to support the Thai drug war, often aimed at the hilltribe people. The US government supports Task Force 399 in Mae Rim near Chiangmai. The DEA also helps exchange intelligence that allows the army to further abuse the hilltribe people.
Pictures show the injuries to Mr. Ah Dteeh.
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